Oh, that three-letter word… sin. What does sin look like? Is sin the physical act of something against God’s commands? Is it the thought process one goes through before the actual sin itself? Does God rank sins? If not, then why do we like to rank them? These are all questions that I’ve asked throughout my life, and I’m not sure I have all the answers to.
When I look at situation that Eve was in and how the deception occurred with the Serpent, I begin to wonder when the sin actually took place. Because honestly, we know that she didn’t just make a “snap” decision to eat the fruit, but she had to mull it over and consciously make the decision over at least some period of time. Now, this is not to say that as soon as we have the temptation to sin we have already sinned, but it seems as though Eve wasn’t even fighting off her temptation. She just allowed the Serpent’s words to sink in further to deceive her into questioning God’s motives. I tend to lean more towards the idea that the sin took place before she actually ate the fruit.
If that’s the case, then this makes our thought lives that much more important. Are we doing as Paul says in Philippians 4:8 and thinking about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is commendable”? How much are we actually fighting off temptation instead of just allowing it to permeate our hearts and minds and causing us to sin? I personally don’t spend nearly as much energy as I should fighting off temptation – gossip is a good example of that. It is so, so incredibly easy to get sucked into gossip and I have fallen into that trap so many times. It’s easy to talk poorly of others so we may feel better about ourselves.
This leads me into another question. Have you ever ranked your sin? Have you ever talked poorly about someone, cheated on a test, lied to a friend, and then thought, “Well, at least I didn’t do [insert your excuse here]…” Maybe I’m the only one, but I have done this so many times. I try and make my sins seem smaller than they really are in order to feel better about myself, but the fact of the matter is I Sinned. Period. There is no excuse. There is no “making myself feel better.” I have wronged the Lord, and there’s no way around that. Did you know that in the verses in the Bible where it talks about the sins God hates (both Old and New Testaments) “gossip” is included among murder and adultery? That “disobedience to parents” is in there with slander and debauchery? That throws a wrench into all of my plans of trying to make myself feel better for only telling a “white lie” to someone.
Friends, we are all guilty of sin. Every single one of us. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The sin here isn’t specified. This is sin in general. So that test you cheated on, that white lie you told… it’s all sin. We are all culpable. We are all sinners. But we have hope, friends (and I’ll talk about this more in a couple posts). Directly after that verse saying we have all sinned, Paul says, “and [they] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” We have hope! We can have salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord! Amen and Amen.